• Kyodo

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Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are planning to meet in Tokyo in mid-March to prepare for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s U.S. visit, a diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

Kishida and Kerry are also expected to discuss anti-terror measures after Islamic State militants recently killed two Japanese citizens, as well as Japan’s planned security legislation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations.

Abe is due to travel to the United States during Golden Week, which will run from late April through early May, for a summit with President Barack Obama.

In remarks at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry suggested he will tour East Asia, including Japan, in March and said Obama’s “Asia pivot” policy remains unshaken.

Noting that Deputy State Secretary Antony Blinken and Undersecretary Wendy Sherman toured Japan, China and South Korea after the turn of the year, Kerry said he will visit within the next month.

He said the Obama administration has been proceeding with the TPP trade negotiations and talks on enhancing defense cooperation with Japan and South Korea.

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